Rangers center-field prospect Jake Skole batted just .185/.288/.260 in 227 at-bats during the first half of the season with high Class A Myrtle Beach. Redemption for Skole, a 20-year-old whom Texas drafted 15th overall in 2010, will have to wait for the final days of August following news of his 50-game suspension. The commissioner's office announced the penalty in a press release issued Friday evening.
Skole will sit out 50 games without pay following a positive test for an amphetamine, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.
The International League on June 27 unveiled its roster for the 25th annual Triple-A all-star game to be held Wednesday, July 11, the day after the major league All-Star Game. The Pacific Coast League followed suit the next day. The IL serves as the home team with the game being played in Buffalo.
Let's take a closer look at this year's participants, noting age, acquisition history and performance through the end of June. We'll keep you updated with changes to rosters brought about by injuries or by players being called to the big leagues.
Key to notations: *bats/throws lefthanded. #switch-hitter. @reliever. Starters and league leaders in bold.
|INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STARS • STATS THROUGH JUNE 27
|Jason Berken||Norfolk||BAL||28||2006 (6)||74||2.32||1.24||6.5|
|Chris Bootcheck@||Toledo||DET||33||MiLB FA||32||3.62||1.36||9.7|
|Fernando Cabrera@||Buffalo||NYM||30||MiLB FA||36||4.04||1.49||7.8|
|*Juan Cedeno@||Scranton/WB||NYY||28||MiLB FA||36||2.23||1.29||8.9|
|Tyler Cloyd||Lehigh Valley||PHI||25||2008 (18)||71||2.17||0.92||6.0|
|Dane de la Rosa@||Durham||TB||29||MiLB FA||40||3.40||1.21||12.3|
|*Zach Duke||Syracuse||WAS||29||MiLB FA||90||3.69||1.41||4.8|
|Cory Gearrin@||Gwinnett||ATL||26||2007 (4)||41||1.31||0.90||10.5|
|Justin Germano||Pawtucket||BOS||29||MiLB FA||97||2.60||0.94||5.8|
|Matt Harvey||Buffalo||NYM||23||2010 (1)||85||3.69||1.41||9.2|
|*Charlie Leesman||Charlotte||CWS||25||2008 (11)||88||2.45||1.38||7.0|
|*Rudy Owens||Indianapolis||PIT||24||2006 (28 D/F)||97||2.51||1.06||6.3|
|Miguel Socolovich@||Norfolk||BAL||25||MiLB FA||40||1.59||0.88||10.0|
|Ryan Lavarnway||Pawtucket||BOS||24||2008 (6)||264||.320||.405||.489|
|#Dioner Navarro||Louisville||CIN||28||MiLB FA||164||.338||.414||.449|
|Josh Phegley||Charlotte||CWS||24||2009 (1s)||277||.276||.310||.364|
|Pedro Ciriaco, ss
|#Pedro Florimon, ss||Rochester||MIN||25||Waivers (’11)||208||.253||.315||.360|
|Kevin Frandsen, 2b||Lehigh Valley||PHI||30||MiLB FA||309||.290||.329||.371|
|Mauro Gomez, dh
|*Dan Johnson, 3b
|Ernesto Mejia, 1b
|Jordy Mercer, ss||Indianapolis||PIT||25||2008 (3)||211||.305||.379||.422|
|#Cord Phelps, 2b
|*Corey Brown, cf
|Russ Canzler, lf||Columbus||CLE||26||Trade (’12)||304||.273||.329||.444|
|Greg Golson, rf
|Matt LaPorta, lf
|Starling Marte, cf||Indianapolis||PIT||23||Int'l FA (’07)||315||.272||.332||.466|
|Val Pascucci, rf||Buffalo||NYM||33||MiLB FA||319||.247||.382||.452|
Coaching Staff: Mike Sarbaugh, manager, Columbus (Indians); Arnie Beyeler, coach, Pawtucket (Red Sox); Ryne Sandberg, coach, Lehigh Valley (Phillies); and Joe Golia, trainer, Buffalo (Mets). [...] Continue Reading »
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—Even on a short leash, Dylan Bundy impresses.
In a start against high Class A Winston-Salem Thursday night, he went five innings and threw just 57 pitches, about 70 percent of which were strikes. He muzzled a hard-hitting Dash team that leads the Carolina League in scoring, giving up four hits and one earned run while earning his fourth victory in six decisions. His Frederick Keys earned a 4-2 victory.
Steve Melewski of MASN.com has reported the Orioles are limiting Bundy's pitch count for a stretch leading up to the Futures Game, and Bundy adjusted, pitching with efficiency. He had an eight-pitch inning followed by a five-pitch frame.
"I can go 80 to 85 pitches in a game right now, or five innings, whichever comes first," Bundy told the Winston-Salem Journal. "Tonight was five innings. I really would like to have gone out there for more. Fifty-seven pitches isn't a big workload I don't think, but that's the organization's plan and I guess they're sticking to it." [...] Continue Reading »
Here we present official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period June 19-24.
Please see the Baseball America Draft Database for much more detailed information on draft picks, including scouting reports (for subscribers), select signing bonuses and a running tally of team spending
Signed: OF Michael Lang (Sioux City (American Association))
Released: OF Henry Zabala
Recalled: RHP Jonathan Albaladejo
Placed on 7-day DL: OF Alfredo Marte, RHP Robert Buller, RHP Cesse DeJesus, RHP Bryan Henry, RHP Juan Valdez
Reinstated from DL: 3B Raoul Torrez
Signed: LHP Brent Leach (released by Dodgers)
Draft pick signed: RHP Kevin McKague (23)
Released: C Victor Gomez
Recalled: RHP Jair Jurrjens
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Todd Redmond
Placed on 7-day DL: 2B Fernando de los Santos, OF Cory Harrilchak, OF Matt Lipka
Reinstated from DL: RHP Caleb Brewer [...] Continue Reading »
Shelby Miller's 2012 has left him further from the big leagues than he was when spring training began, but last night was a significant step in the right direction.
In what was easily the best start of the season for Miller, the 21-year-old righthander held Albuquerque to one hit (a solo home run by Matt Angle) in five innings. Miller struck out eight and walked three, lowering his ERA with Triple-A Memphis to 5.70.
Miller was skipped for a turn through the rotation so that he could work on his mechanics. On Wednesday night, we saw the results: improved control, a fastball that sat at 92 mph and touched 95 and a more consistent arm slot.
Perhaps just as importantly, Miller was operating under a no-shake rule. The Cardinals told him that he was to throw whatever the catcher signaled. So if catcher Bryan Anderson called for a curveball, Miller no longer had the leeway to shake him off to go back to his fastball. Miller had gotten a little fastball happy earlier this year, so the new rule ensures that he uses his curveball and changeup.
The new approach worked. Miller wasn't particularly fine with his control–his 57.47 percent strike percentage was actually his worst percentage of the season. But with hitters no longer able to focus on his fastball, he was able to dominate anyway.
Major League Baseball has informed teams that Cuban corner outfielder Yasiel Puig is a free agent, though the memo they sent teams is different from the typical one they send when a Cuban player becomes a free agent.
According to the memo, teams are free to negotiate with Puig, but they may not enter into an agreement with him or submit contract terms to the commissioner's office until he either receives an unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or provides required proof of legal permanent residency. The memo says that Puig has presented temporary Mexican residency papers to MLB, but he has yet to present an unblocking license or permanent Mexican residency papers. Given that Puig has been in Mexico for so little time, it's a question around the industry how he could acquire either of those documents, though Puig's agent, Jaime Torres, has said Puig has permanent residency documents.
In order for Puig to avoid being subject to the new international signing rules that begin on July 2, a team must submit the contract to the commissioner's office by 11:59 p.m. on July 1. If it's a major league contract, the club most provide the contract terms to the commissioner's office by that time, or submit it through MLB's internal contract database system if he signs a minor league deal. The teams are not allowed to submit anything until he presents the unblocking license or required proof of permanent residency first.
If Puig can't sign by July 2, he will be subject to the new $2.9 international bonus pool limits. Cubans are exempt from the new rules for the next two years as long as they are 23 and have played in a Cuban pro league for at least three seasons (beginning in 2014-15, Cubans must have five pro seasons to be exempt). However, Puig doesn't meet the age requirements and, according to Baseball America's records, he has played just two years in Serie Nacional.
Reports on Puig, 21, have been modest, and other than a few light workouts this weekend, teams are working off limited information. He was suspended this past season in Cuba—some sources believe it was due to his attempts to leave the country, though some teams have conflicting information—so scouts haven't been able to see Puig in game condition since June 2011 for the Cuban national B team at the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam. The Rangers are the only team that Baseball America's sources have linked to Puig.
"How can we evaluate someone like that?" asked one Latin American director.
The Mariners knew what they were getting when they took shortstop Brad Miller in the second round out of Clemson last year. They knew he would hit and would be an excellent teammate, but that his defense was a little rough around the edges. So far, that assesment has been spot on.
Miller has been an offensive force this season for the High Desert Mavericks. Over his first 72 games (297 at-bats), Miller is hitting .326/.409/.525. He ranks first in the league in doubles (27), third in walks (43), eighth in batting average and fourth in on-base percentage.
He was named to the California League all-star game that took place June 19 in Winston-Salem, N.C., and his former Clemson teammate (and 2012 first-round pick by the Rays) Richie Shaffer watched him go 1-for-1 with a double and a walk (which he drew off of Dylan Bundy).
"I've felt good, I feel like I'm just learning about how to play everyday and how to be consistent," Miller said about the first half of his season. "It's already been 70 games and there's been some ups and downs. You're feeling good, feeling bad, but it's been fun. It's been a fun first year."
Miller's home hitting environment is one of the best in the minor leagues for hitters. But his dynamic offense isn't just the product of a cozy home ballpark. He's hitting .368/.446/.645 at home this season. His road numbers, while a big step down from those at home, are still solid at .282/.370/.403. [...] Continue Reading »
For Braves righthander J.R. Graham, 2012 has been a year of transition. Last year, when he was drafted in the fourth round out of Santa Clara, he pitched in 23 games for the Broncos, but only got five starts.
He got his feet wet in pro ball, ranking as the No. 8 prospect in the Appalachian League after he went 5-2, 1.72 with 52 strikeouts and 13 walks over 58 innings. He pitched in 13 games, starting eight of them.
This year, Graham was named to the Carolina League all-star team after going 8-1, 2.53 with 15 walks and 55 strikeouts over 82 innings in the first half of the year for Lynchburg. [...] Continue Reading »
When he makes contact Brett Jackson can do a whole lot of good things.
He has plenty of power, as evidenced by his 11 home runs, .492 slugging percentage and .239 isolated power. And he has plenty of speed, as evidenced by his 14 steals in 18 attempts and his nine triples. He plays a solid center field as well, which is why he's been one of the Cubs top prospects ever since they drafted him in the first round in 2009.
But there's a very good reason why Jackson is not yet playing in Chicago. It all comes down to contact. While Jackson can do a whole lot of good things when he puts the bat on the ball, he hasn't been hearing the crack of the bat nearly enough this year. [...] Continue Reading »
At the end of May, righthanders A.J. Cole (Athletics) and Neil Ramirez (Rangers) had two of the worst ERAs in the minors at 7.16 and 7.57, respectively. Their organizations since decided each needed to go down a level, and so far, both pitchers have responded the right way.
Cole was one of the centerpieces of the return the A’s got for sending Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals over the winter, but the 20-year-old had a miserable time in the high Class A California League. Cole made eight starts for Stockton in the Cal League and lost seven of them, going 0-7, 7.82 before being sent to low Class A Burlington in late May. At the time of his demotion, Cole’s ERA was the worst among qualifiying Cal League pitchers, and he’d allowed the most hits (60 in 38 innings) and the highest opponents’ average (.364).
Cole fared little better in his first start for Burlington, allowing eight runs (five earned) in five innings on May 24, but he’s gotten going in the right direction since. Excluding a rain-shortened start on June 3, Cole has completed five innings in all six of his other Midwest League outings, something he only did three times in the Cal League, and he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any start since his rough May 24 outing. He was solid again Monday, limiting Cedar Rapids to one run on four hits over five innings, striking out three without a walk. He picked up the win to improve to 3-0, 3.06 as a Bee.
The unveiling of the Top Prospect Performers page today provides a suitable backdrop to reflect on (and provide context for) the top game scores in the minors during the first half of the season. If you're not familiar with the game score metric, please see the Wikipedia entry before proceeding.
Here we divvied up pitchers by level, presenting a top 20 list for each full-season classification—but with a catch. Only pitchers who are age-appropriate for their level of competition were considered. That means that to qualify for one of the lists, a pitcher must meet (or be younger than) his classification's median age as of July 1 this year. The median cutoff ages are as follows: 26 for Triple-A, 24 for Double-A, 23 for high Class A and 22 for low Class A.
All performances up through Sunday, June 24, were considered. Lefthanded pitchers denoted with an asterisk (*). To qualify, a pitcher must either have started the game or thrown at least five innings in relief. The second clause sometimes triggers when minor league starters begin in the second inning (or later) in games in which rehabbing major leaguers start the game.
|TOP 20 GAME SCORES • 26-AND-YOUNGER PITCHERS AT TRIPLE-A
|4||Tom Koehler||MIA||New Orleans||Pacific Coast||6/16||7.2||1||0||0||10||3||85|
|5||Bruce Billings||OAK||Sacramento||Pacific Coast||5/26||8||3||0||0||8||0||84|
|8||Charles Brewer||ARI||Reno||Pacific Coast||6/4||9||3||2||2||9||0||82|
|10||Chris Rusin*||CHC||Iowa||Pacific Coast||4/22||8||2||0||0||4||0||82|
|11||Casey Coleman||CHC||Iowa||Pacific Coast||5/7||7||2||0||0||9||1||81|
|14||Brad Hand*||MIA||New Orleans||Pacific Coast||5/29||7.1||1||1||1||10||2||81|
|15||Nick Additon*||STL||Memphis||Pacific Coast||6/12||7||4||0||0||11||0||80|
|Trevor Bauer||ARI||Reno||Pacific Coast||5/18||8||4||1||1||11||1||80|
|Tyler Cloyd||PHI||Lehigh Valley||International||4/5||6||0||0||0||8||0||80|
|Alex Sanabia||MIA||New Orleans||Pacific Coast||5/7||8||2||1||1||7||1||80|
|19||Andrew Carraway||SEA||Tacoma||Pacific Coast||5/11||7.1||1||0||0||4||1||80|
|Christian Friedrich*||COL||Colo Springs||Pacific Coast||4/10||7.1||2||0||0||6||1||80|
Youngest Pitcher: Only 22-year-old Marlins lefty Brad Hand can challenge the Diamondbacks' Trevor Bauer when it comes to youth. The third pick in last year's draft, Bauer doesn't turn 22 until January. In eight starts for Reno he went 4-0, 2.82 with 11.3 strikeouts and 4.4 walks per nine innings. Slated to make his big league debut on Thursday, Bauer leaves the minors as the overall leader in wins (11) and strikeouts (116). [...] Continue Reading »
Yordano Ventura’s star continues to rise. The Royals righthander turned in one of his best outings of the year Monday for high Class A Wilmington, allowing two runs on four hits over seven innings against Potomac, while adding in seven strikeouts and two walks.
The 21-year-old Ventura has responded well to what was his worst outing of the year two starts ago, when he didn’t make it out of the second inning on June 7. He pitched five strong innings on June 13 and then matched his longest outing of the year Monday. Ventura gave up all four of the hits he allowed in the first three innings, including a two-run homer to Potomac’s Kevin Keyes in the second, but he allowed just one baserunner after the third, retiring 12 of the last 13 hitters he faced.
Ventura, who showed a 95-97 mph fastball and bumped 98 in last week’s California-Carolina League All-Star Game, dropped his ERA to 3.04 after 68 innings. He upped his strikeout total to 85, which ranks second in the league at the moment, but he figures to take over the top spot in short order since the current leader, Rangers righty Cody Buckel, has been promoted to Double-A. Ventura does lead all CL starters in strikeouts-per-nine (11.25) and ranks fourth in the league in opponents’ average (.220)
Big league outfielder Marlon Byrd received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for Tamoxifen, a performance-enhancing substance under Major League Baseball’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. Released by the Red Sox on June 12, the 34-year-old Byrd is a free agent, but because he's under contract for $6.5 million this season MLB placed him on the restricted list, effective through Aug. 20, which results in a 50-day loss of pay.
The MLB Players' Association released a statement from Byrd in the wake of the announcement. “I made an inexcusable mistake," he's quoted as saying. "Several years ago, I had surgery for a condition that was private and unrelated to baseball. Last winter, I suffered a recurrence of that condition and I was provided with a medication that resulted in my positive test. Although that medication is on the banned list, I absolutely did not use it for performance-enhancement reasons."
MLB also announced a minor league suspension on Monday. Cardinals high Class A Palm Beach outfielder Mike Swinson tested positive for Methylhexanimine and will sit for 50 games without pay. The 22-year-old batted .184/.237/.230 with two triples in 87 at-bats during Florida State League play this season. St. Louis selected Swinson in the 12th round of the 2008 draft out of a high school in Douglas, Ga.
Even for baseball's best basestealer, it's been a pretty amazing week.
High Class A Bakersfield shortstop Billy Hamilton (Reds) stole three bases in Sunday afternoon's game against Rancho Cucamonga. The three steals gives him 90 this season, 39 more than anyone else in pro baseball. The three stolen bases came on the heels of a four-steal Saturday and one stolen base on Friday, giving him eight steals this weekend.
If you include his first game back from the Carolina-California League all-star game and the last game of the first half (where he stole five bases). Hamilton is having the most productive basestealing stretch of his career with 15 steals in five games. The best previous stretch of his career was a five-game segment where he stole 12 bases in late April this year. Hamilton had never stolen more than 10 bases in a five-game stretch before this season.
Hamilton's 33 steals this month are the most steals he's ever had in a month, topping the 29 he stole this April. Hamilton's three most productive basestealing months of his career have all occurred this year—he stole 28 bases in May. Before this year, he had never stolen more than 24 bases in a month (Rookie-level Billings, Aug. 2010).
Thanks to his recent burst, Hamilton has upped his stolen bases-per-game pace to 1.2. Even with the Futures Game meaning that he will miss a couple of scheduled games, the speedster is currently on pace to steal 166 bases. The pro record is 145 steals, set by Vince Coleman in 1983 in low Class A Macon.
Presented here are the top 10 runs created tallies for position players from weekend series, June 22-24. Players must appear in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.
|TOP 10 RUNS CREATED BY PROSPECTS IN THE MINORS • JUNE 22-24
|Logan Schafer*||MIL||Nashville||Pac Coast||AAA||13||7||1||1||2||2||0||1||7.0|
|Yasmani Grandal#||SD||Tucson||Pac Coast||AAA||10||6||2||0||0||4||1||0||4.9|
|Brian Goodwin*||WAS||Hagerstown||S Atlantic||LoA||12||5||0||0||3||1||2||0||4.8|
|Brett Jackson*||CHC||Iowa||Pac Coast||AAA||12||4||0||0||3||3||6||1||4.8|
|Mason Williams*||NYY||Charleston||S Atlantic||LoA||14||6||1||1||2||0||3||0||4.8|
|Aaron Altherr||PHI||Lakewood||S Atlantic||LoA||12||7||1||0||1||0||4||0||4.6|
• Triple-A Nashville center fielder Logan Schafer's recent hot streak (he's batting .413/.439/.627 with five walks and five steals in 22 June games) could portend a callup to Milwaukee in the not-too-distant future. Milwaukee center fielders—Carlos Gomez, Nyjer Morgan and Norichika Aoki—have batted .236/.298/.344 this season.
• The legend of Billy Hamilton grows. The Reds shortstop prospect collected a hit and scored at least one run in all three weekend games for high Class A Bakersfield, but even more exciting for his development was the fact that he also drew seven walks and stole eight bases without begin caught. (This despite him coming out of Friday's game with an apparent shin injury on Friday.) Hamilton drew three walks on Saturday (and stole four bases) and again on Sunday (and stole three bases), giving him 46 walks on the season and (gulp) 90 stolen bases through 70 games. If he keeps up that rate—and if he plays in every game the rest of the way—then Hamilton will obliterate every known record with 180 stolen bases. Those may be big ifs, but the minor league record of 145 is well within reach. [...] Continue Reading »
Presented here are the top 10 pitcher game scores from weekend series, June 22-24, by pitchers who appear in the 2012 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.
|TOP 10 GAME SCORES BY PROSPECTS IN THE MINORS • JUNE 22-24
|Chris Dwyer*||KC||NW Arkansas||Texas||AA||7||2||0||0||7||0||80|
|Adalberto Mejia*||SF||Augusta||South Atlantic||LoA||6||0||0||0||5||2||75|
|Kyle Crick||SF||Augusta||South Atlantic||LoA||6||2||0||0||8||4||72|
|*Lefthander. Chart considers only pitchers who appear in 2012 BA Prospect Handbook
• Indians lefthander T.J. McFarland earned a promotion to Triple-A Columbus at the end of May after going 8-2, 2.69 in 10 starts for Double-A Akron. The 2007 fourth-rounder has continued on his back-of-the-rotation trajectory with the Clippers, piling up innings and groundballs, if not strikeouts. The 23-year-old McFarland lowered his Triple-A ERA to 4.22 after his four-hit shutout of Lehigh Valley on Sunday, during which he faced just three batters over the minimum. [...] Continue Reading »
Braves minor league righthander Aaron Northcraft kicked off a weekend of superb pitching performances in the minors by throwing a seven-inning no-hitter for high Class A Lynchburg on Friday. The 22-year-old became the first minor leaguer to complete his own no-hit bid this season, truncated to seven innings though it was. The full list of minor league no-hitters can be found at the bottom of this story.
A 10th-round pick out of high school in 2009, Northcraft struck out 10, walked two and hit a batter during his no-hitter versus Salem. He also logged a seven-inning complete game two starts ago, June 9, against Frederick, striking out six and walking two. His ERA in June stands at 1.04 through 26 innings.
Other pitching heroics over the weekend . . .
Phillies LHP Ethan Stewart (6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 SO for low Class A Lakewood). The 2010 47th-rounder out of New Mexico JC has struggled with his control this season (5.2 walks per nine innings), but he's limited damage by allowing batters to hit just .194 against him, squelching many rallies. We identified him as an unheralded arm on the rise back in April. [...] Continue Reading »
This time: June 12-18
Here we present official minor league transactions, conveyed to us by Major League Baseball, for the period June 12-18.
Any player listed with an asterisk (*) signed a minor league contract with the organization after being removed from the 40-man roster and clearing waivers.
Please see the Baseball America Draft Database for much more detailed information on draft picks, including scouting reports (for subscribers), select signing bonuses and a running tally of team spending
Signed: RHP Tanner Hamilton (NDFA—Houston-Victoria), RHP Eric Meyerchick (Windy City (Frontier)), RHP Michael Rivera (NDFA—Fresno Pacific), RHP Patrick Smith (NDFA—Palomar (Calif.) JC), RHP Justin Thompson (NDFA—Virginia), 1B Kyle Koeneman (NDFA—Carson-Newman (Tenn.)), OF Brian Billigen (NDFA—Cornell), OF Shaun Cooper (NDFA—Utah)
Draft picks signed: RHP Ben Eckels (11), RHP Blake Forslund (15), RHP R.J. Hively (19), RHP Andrew Potter (31), 1B Rudy Flores (21), 2B Kevin Medrano (18), 3B Mark Ginther (24), 3B Jake Lamb (6), 3B Joe Munoz (2), SS Andrew Velazquez (7), OF Yogey Perez-Ramos (17)
Released: RHP Jeff Shields, OF Archie Gilbert
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Teofilo Gutierrez, C Zach Jones, 2B Matt Jensen, 3B Raoul Torrez
Reinstated from DL: RHP Chase Anderson
Signed: RHP D.J. Carrasco (released by Mets), OF Alejandro Piloto
Draft pick signed: C Josh Elander (6)
Released: RHP Dave Kubiak, RHP Matt Suschak, 2B Sergio Miranda, 2B Alejandro Sanchez, OF Abner Abreu, OF Chris Bullard
Acquired: LHP Cole McCurry from Orioles and 3B Jason Christian from Reds for cash considerations
Loaned to Mexican League: RHP Jesus Cambuston (to Quintana Roo)
Recalled: RHP Kris Medlen, RHP Todd Redmond, RHP Anthony Varvaro
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Cory Gearrin
Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Adam Holland, 3B Barrett Kleinknecht
Placed on 60-day DL: LHP Oriel Caicedo, LHP Andy Otero
Reinstated from DL: LHP Ronan Pacheco [...] Continue Reading »
A pair of Double-A righthanders received 50-game suspensions without pay, according to a press release issued by the commissioner's office today.
The Reds' Luis Atilano, who made one start for Triple-A Louisville and one for Double-A Pensacola, both in April, will sit out 50 games after a second violation for what Major League Baseball deems a drug of abuse. The 27-year-old signed with Cincinnati as a minor league free agent in December and has spent most of the season on the disabled list.
Double-A Portland's Marco Duarte, whom the Red Sox acquired in December when they traded Rule 5 pick Marwin Gonzalez to the Astros, tested positive for an amphetamine. The 25-year-old righty reliever logged 10 strikeouts, nine walks and 15 hits allowed in 17 innings for Portland, but had a much more aesthetically-pleasing 17-4 K-BB ratio with high Class A Salem through mid-May.
MLB has yet to announce to teams a decision on the case of Jairo Beras, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Beras, a lanky 6-foot-5 Dominican corner outfielder, had been considered by several teams to be the top prospect eligible to sign on July 2. However, after using a birth certificate saying he was born Dec. 25, 1995, Beras used a new birth certificate claiming he was 17 to sign with the Rangers on Feb. 29 for $4.5 million, a far greater amount than he likely would have been able to command under the new international signing restrictions that begin on July 2.
Whatever the outcome of the case is, Beras’ pending status does put the Rangers at a disadvantage in the July 2 market, since they won’t know whether Beras might get suspended and then fall under the $2.9 million bonus pool rules for the 2012-13 international signing period. Yet general manager Jon Daniels and his staff had to have known, given the circumstances in the Beras case, that it would take MLB a long time to sort through everything.
From MLB’s perspective, there also isn’t any hurry to reach a decision. MLB has “verified” the ages of several high-profile players in recent years, only to go back later and find out that those players had lied about their ages and in some cases their identities as well. There are some players who haven’t been able to get on the field yet after waiting for nearly a year for the results of an MLB investigation. Other players in the past have had to wait even longer. From MLB’s perspective, their concern is to make sure that nobody involved in the case is engaged in fraud or other corruption. While July 2 is an important date on the baseball calendar, there’s no reason MLB has to make any ruling before then, and the Beras investigation is only one of hundreds of cases they’re face with tackling.
Technically, the decision should affect any team with interest in Beras. If he is suspended and would become eligible to sign next year (presumably February or March 2013, if it’s a one-year suspension retroactive to his signing date), teams that might want to sign Beras would have to consider reallocating resources from their $2.9 million bonus pool, a big chunk of which is likely to be spent next month for many teams.
The alternative for Beras in that situation would be to wait until July 2, 2013 to sign, since then the signing bonus pools would be larger than $2.9 million for some teams based on inverse order of 2012 winning percentage, although that means the Rangers would likely have minimal funds. However, most teams expect Beras to end up with the Rangers regardless of what happens, so the decision is likely to primarily affect Texas.
Meanwhile, everyone involved will just have to wait.
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